In the extremely competitive Hong Kong food scene, it’s all about survival of the fittest. Yet there are some restaurants that stand out amongst the crowd, serving unique food that cannot be found anywhere else. Orange Tree is a one such example. Run by Chef-Patron Pieter Onderwater, this cozy restaurant in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong is one of the very few (if not the only) restaurant in Hong Kong serving authentic Dutch cuisine.
Our visit to Orange Tree was on a Friday evening. Arriving at 7:30pm, the restaurant was lively but not packed. The owner arranged us to sit at one of the corner tables which was nice and quiet. The restaurant itself is very cozy, warm tones of wood and leather span the restaurant with colourful artwork dotting the walls. The owner is very friendly and full of exuberance. This positive energy rubs off on the guests, making them feel at home the moment they walk through the door. Time for the food!
For starters we went with the Matjes Herring. This traditional dutch snack of brined herring was delicious, the texture was firm from the brining and the taste was rich yet not salty. Served with pickled onions and gherkins, this was a great start to get the appetite going.
For my main I went with the lamb fillet wrapped in eggplant and puff pastry. The lamb was cooked perfectly and extremely tender. The juices of the lamb mixed with the eggplant which has been softened. On the outside was a golden brown crispy puff pastry holding everything together. The rosemary jus was light and complimented the dish well, as there really was no need for a heavy sauce as it was so full of flavour.
Up to now all the dishes have been delicious, but the real reason for choosing Orange Tree was for their Poffertjes!! My first encounter with this lovely coin sized Dutch pancake was during my studies in Australia, where there a stall serving these fluffy pillows at the weekend farmers’ market. Ever since then I have been hooked on these and went back every week to get some. Now that I’m back in Hong Kong I am thrilled that there is at least one place I can go to sample this dish. Traditionally, Poffertjes are served with butter and powdered sugar, and usually eaten outdoors (having the powdered sugar blow all over your clothes was part of the fun!) Poffertjes at Orange Tree are slightly more luxurious, served with homemade vanilla icecream instead. We ordered one plate of these for each person, cause I’m definitely not sharing!
Overall, I must say that Orange Tree is one of my favourite restaurants in Hong Kong. The food is unique and delicious and the service is excellent. Highly recommend going there at least once to sample their Dutch specialties that you won’t find anywhere else in Hong Kong!
Tel: 2838 9352
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 12:00-15:00; 18:00-23:00
Cover image taken from Orange Tree Facebook